Darren Bent has urged Newcastle United to wrap up a permanent deal for loan signing Jetro Willems after his impressive performances this season.
The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Dutch wing-back has emerged as an important member of the Magpies’ backline and that Steve Bruce would be wise keeping him on board past the end of the season.
Newcastle signed Willems from Eintracht Frankfurt on a season-long loan deal over the summer, with German publication Bild reporting that the two clubs negotiated a £10million (€11million) purchase clause as part of the terms.
Bent says that the eight-figure fee is very reasonable for today’s transfer market and has urged Newcastle to tie him down rather than pursuing alternative options.
Bent told Football Insider: “I’d get him because I think he’s done really well for Newcastle. I remember the blockbuster he scored against Liverpool.
“I really like what Steve Bruce is doing there, I like how he’s got them all playing together now. You can tell they’re all playing for each other. For me, I’d sign him.
“You might think: ‘Oh I don’t really want to spend £10million on him,’ but to keep that team together, keep that momentum going, that will make him happy, make his teammates happy, make the fans happy because they like him. Don’t break it up and think: ‘I can get better,’ go with what you’ve got now.
“£10million in the grand scheme of things is not a lot of money and he’s playing way, keep the thing rolling, keep it together.”
The Dutch international has played nine times in the Premier League for Newcastle, starting all but one of their last nine league outings, while he also has 22 caps under his belt for the Netherlands.
He has Paul Dummett to compete against for a starting role on the left-hand side of the defence, although the homegrown defender has also operated as a centre-back in recent years.
In other Newcastle United news, Bent has backed a senior player who has baffled him in the past to step up after a crushing blow.